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Secrets Behind Publication of Novel Blackhorse Road Revealed at Pre-launch Parties

Was I ever excited about the pre-launch virtual parties for Blackhorse Road.  They sure lifted the web of mystery about the development of the novel!

 

I know that most readers of fiction aren't privy to the publication process—but they have a hunger for getting answers to questions about the story behind the story. And that's why I designed the pre-launch—to give readers at a peek at who the people are who made Blackhorse Road possible and to satisfy readers' curiosity by of things that are not usually disclosed about production.

 

Featured guests at the parties—Megan Shultz Grennan developmental editor, Kim Bookless, copyeditor, Pat Hertel, proofreader and copyeditor, and beta readers Marian, Sue, Carol, and Laurel—didn't hold back punches as they assisted me in unveiling the mystery of how a manuscript goes from the first draft to finished product.

 

The beta readers shared their insights into the story characters and their visceral responses that they had to portions of the novel.  Each of them fielded questions and told the audience how they came away with different lessons, thoughts, and yes, there were questions about some unresolved issues among the characters.  Perhaps there's a sequel in work?  

 

The audiences were not shy about asking questions either!

 

·        Why did you write the book?

·        What was the hardest part to cut out of the story?

·        How much research went into the story?

·        How much of the story comes from your own family, including ancestors?

·        Does the story touch on sensitive issues?

 

I have to say that the audience response has been overwhelming, and here is a sampling of comments:

·        "I haven't had any interactions with developmental editors before . . . so it was great to hear about Megan's role and see your manuscript examples. That was excellent," said one attendee.

·        "It was great to hear from your team and about the whole book process. Kudos to you for picking up the ball and scoring several touchdowns," said another.

 

My heart overflows with having such a great group of cheerleader.s 

 

The official virtual launch party for Blackhorse Road is scheduled for July 21, 2020, at 7:00 PM CT.  So, join the fun and registration visit www.MeridaJohnsAuthor.com.

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Authors Write About What They Know

Fort Malden, Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Fort Malden - Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada 
Creative Commons Photo by John Stanton
Retrieved: http://www.fortwiki.com/File:Fort_Malden_-_15.jpg

It is said that authors write about what they know—I guess that might be true. In my novel, Blackhorse Road, I've included a place that resonates with history, memories, and spirits, and some of my own memories, too!. After reading the excerpt below from Blackhorse Road, click on the link and view the pictures to see why Luci loves Fort Malden so—I promise, you will feel its energy and vibration, and maybe even feel the spirits of long ago.


"Nevertheless, the manicuring and modernization could not destroy the resilience of the old fort's spirit. The fortification's life force emanated as strong as ever and rose from the earth and battlements like a quivering earthquake. The power of General Brock and Tecumseh, the soldiers, the French settlers, and the First Peoples, still cried out demanding acknowledgment. They will not be denied, Luci comforted herself. Time marches on and changes things, but it cannot eradicate the imprint of energy stamped on a place. Energy does not die. Its vibration, perhaps redistributed, continues. Memories are similar. They do not die; they are the waves that flow throughout a lifetime."

 

For more photos see the link here https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g793524-d1861821-Reviews-Fort_Malden_National_Historic_Site-Amherstburg_Ontario.html

 

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Where Does This Put Blackhorse Road?

What genre is my novel, Blackhorse Road? 

 

There was a robust discussion about that topic when my five enthusiastic proofreaders met over Christmas tea last month. 

 

"It isn't just a romance," Marian said. 

 

"It's self-help, but it isn't self-help either," someone else chimed in. 

 

"But it's a love story although not a bodice-ripping romance," said one of them, and that remark caused a howled from all of us.

 

"Maybe it should be bodice-ripping," I joked, which produced some raised eyebrows and nods around the table.

 

Seriously, though, my friends had made an important point.  Determining a novel's category is essential for many reasons, but from a practical point of view, identifying its genre helps readers find an author's book.  While novels may cross over into several genres, having a home base helps to set expectations about the story and subject matter between the book's covers.

 

So where does that put Blackhorse Road?  Read the synopsis and see if you agree with my choice that follows.

 

It's the turbulent 1960s, and eighteen-year-old Luci Bartolini is following her North Star and new beginnings. Her values are grounded in her Irish great-grandmother's grit, her Italian father's philosophy of choice and happiness, and the era's social justice ideals. A chance meeting at a street dance with a handsome air force cadet sets the stage for a romance that is filled with intimacy without bounds and is as thrilling as a roller-coaster ride. But lurking in the shadows is a powerful foe who robs Luci of her autonomy and shatters her love affair. Discovering the betrayal, Luci tumbles into darkness and a chasm of anger, hate, and despair. Can Luci free herself from the shackles of bitterness and resentment by walking down the forgiveness path? Does she have the strength to restore belief in herself and keep hope alive even as she believes she has lost her soulmate forever?

 

I believe the foundational home for Blackhorse Road is Women's Fiction.  The novel is a story about a young woman on the brink of change who is searching for her place in the world.  Her journey is one of personal growth and maturation spanning two decades and that details how she finds love, lives through sorrow and betrayal, struggles with doubt and forgiveness, and acts on her aspirations to achieve a flourishing life.

 

Cross over genres include Realistic Fiction, defined as stories about real life problems, Adult Fiction, defined as stories about and intended for adults, and for some of the audience, Historical Fiction (after all, the 1960s began sixty years ago) and, of course, Romance—a love story with a satisfying ending.

 

Publication now:  March 2020

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